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Fifth-Year Pupils (Release)

Volume 975: debated on Monday 3 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the estimate of the likely loss of pupils in fifth year classes which leads him to believe that their release to follow apprenticeships or permanent employment would be sufficient to cause the disruption of teaching referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for Rugby on 9 November.

As the present law does not allow early leaving there is no practical experience on which estimates of numbers could be based. The volume of inquiries regularly received in the Department involving requests that pupils be allowed to leave school early to take up employment including apprenticeships gives the Government reason to believe that substantial numbers would take advantage of such a concession.